Washington, D.C./ Food & Drinks
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Published on April 30, 2024
Washington, D.C.'s Dining Scene Shines with 2Fifty Barbecue, Ellie Bird, Bostan, and Mama Chang in NYT's Top 25 RestaurantsSource: Unsplash/ Madie Hamilton

The New York Times recently chalked up its top picks for the "25 Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C., Right Now", and among the selections are standout eateries not just in D.C. proper, but in its neighboring communities as well. The list, which spans a diverse array of cuisines from South American-inflected Texas barbecue to inventive Asian fusion dishes, throws the spotlight on burgeoning culinary hotspots that are rapidly transforming the District's dining landscape.

2Fifty Barbecue, owned by Debby Portillo and Fernando González, has been creating a buzz with its Texas barbecue that's been given a South American twist. Having transitioned from a Maryland farmers’ market staple to a brick-and-mortar in D.C., the restaurant is known for its food that often sells out before the day's end. As The New York Times reports, "Don’t miss the tender prime brisket, smoky ribs or chicken quarters, all with a side of craveable macaroni and cheese." A visit to 2Fifty seemingly isn't complete without grabbing a spread to enjoy at the nearby Riverdale Park on a sunny day.

Adding to the list are two more Virginia standouts that have earned their place on The New York Times culinary map. Falls Church's Ellie Bird, run by the talented husband and wife team Yuan and Carey Tang, capitalizes on the couple's fine-dining roots with a menu that reimagines familiar flavors in novel ways. The Falls Church spot was highlighted for dishes such as "Vietnamese French onion soup with braised oxtail, cacio e pepe crossed with elotes, and fried oyster larb gai", as mentioned by ARLnow. The suburb-themed location is proving to attract a clientele just as eager for innovative cooking as their city counterparts.

In Arlington, the Uyghur cuisine of Bostan, including its newer Herndon outpost, is drawing attention for its freshly grilled kebabs and unique sides such as "saozi, flat noodles in a tart broth; and rangpiza, a cold noodle dish with chili oil." As mentioned by the same ARLnow report, the restaurant has brought something truly special to the area's food scene with its Middle Eastern delicacies.

Also throwing its hat in the gauntlet for top dining spots in Northern Virginia is Mama Chang in Fairfax. Named in honor of chef Peter Chang's mother and showcasing the cuisine of his native Hubei province in China, Mama Chang delights diners with dishes like "lychee pepper chicken, green beans with pickled cabbage, and eggplant in garlic sauce," according to Northern Virginia Magazine. The festive atmosphere serves as a boon to a menu that celebrates the Chang family's culinary heritage, which spans over 16 other restaurants in the area.